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HJ-9: The Red Arrow

The HJ-9 is a Chinese wheeled ATGM carrier which entered service with the PLA in the late 1990s as a platform for a newly developed anti-tank missile. Coming to War Thunder as part of the next major update, the HJ-9 will soon reinforce the top ranks of the Chinese ground forces tree with a highly capable new tank hunter!

Briefly: A late 1990s Chinese wheeled missile carrier, equipped with the powerful ATGMs.

HJ-9, tank destroyer, China, Rank VI

Features:

  • Superb mobility
  • Powerful missiles
  • Thermal vision
  • Retractable launcher
  • Light armor
History

Starting in the late 1980s, Chinese engineers began developing a more powerful ATGM based on the existing HJ-8 missile. The goal was to create a more efficient missile, capable of operating in all weather conditions, have extended range and be precise and powerful enough to engage even the most advanced combat vehicles with deadly success. The result of this undertaking was the HJ-9 missile, fitted with a tandem warhead.

However, as the missile system turned out to be too heavy for infantry use, the decision was made to use it exclusively on a mobile platform. Subsequently, engineers chose the chassis of the WZ-550 4x4 and fitted it with a retractable four-barrel missile launcher, akin to the VCAC MEPHISTO, which entered French service in the early 1980s.

The HJ-9, as it became known, was first shown to the public at a military parade in 1999, showcasing the PLA’s latest equipment. HJ-9 is in service with the Chinese army to date.

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In War Thunder, the HJ-9 will be a new wheeled tank destroyer awaiting tankers at rank VI of the Chinese ground forces tree following the release of the next major update. Combining excellent mobility with potent ATGMs, the HJ-9 will give Chinese tankers access to a deadly new tank hunter unlike anything previously available in their tree!

Immediately upon obtaining the HJ-9, the vehicle offers its prospective commanders a four-barreled retractable ATGM launcher, firing powerful ATGMs of the same designation. Possessing a tandem warhead and a range of 5 km allows tankers to reliably knock out even more advanced combat vehicles, outfitted with reactive armor, and at a considerable distance at that! Furthermore, thanks to the presence of thermal imaging, this process is made even easier, regardless of light or weather conditions.

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Being based on a shortened version of the Chinese ZSL92 APC, the HJ-9 features excellent mobility, typical for most wheeled vehicles regardless of rank. Specifically, the HJ-9 can reach an excellent top speed of 95 km/h on paved roads thanks to its 290 horsepower diesel engine. On the other hand, the vehicle’s comparably low combat weight and the resulting high power-to-weight ratio enable it to cross even rougher terrain with relative ease - just be wary of boggy areas and deep snow as these considerably hamper the mobility of wheeled vehicles in general.

In most cases, wheeled vehicles don’t feature heavy duty protection so as to not hamper their mobility. This principle also applies to the HJ-9. Engineers only equipped the HJ-9 with steel armor up to 12 mm in thickness as well as bulletproof glass for the windows. Needless to say, this makes the HJ-9 highly susceptible to everything but small arms fire and shrapnel. Aircraft in particular may prioritize the HJ-9 over other targets due to its poor protection and lack of a defensive roof-mounted machine gun. As a result, commanders are best advised to make the most use out of the HJ-9’s excellent mobility and constantly change position after each engagement to ensure they remain an elusive target on the battlefield.

The HJ-9 will soon be arriving to the top ranks of the Chinese ground forces tree as part of the next major War Thunder update. In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to our news as we continue unveiling what other exciting new additions and features await you in the upcoming update. Until then, happy hunting tankers!

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